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U.S. services sector slows slightly in April after record high

UPDATED: Wed., May 5, 2021

FILE - In this Wednesday, March 10, 2021 file photo, waiter Jose Bravo, center, delivers food for Alberto Castaneda, left, and his wife, Esther, at Picos restaurant in Houston. The Institute for Supply Management, an association of purchasing managers, reported Monday, April 5 that the U.S. services sector, which employs most Americans, recorded record growth in March as orders, hiring and prices all surged.  (David J. Phillip)
FILE - In this Wednesday, March 10, 2021 file photo, waiter Jose Bravo, center, delivers food for Alberto Castaneda, left, and his wife, Esther, at Picos restaurant in Houston. The Institute for Supply Management, an association of purchasing managers, reported Monday, April 5 that the U.S. services sector, which employs most Americans, recorded record growth in March as orders, hiring and prices all surged. (David J. Phillip)
By Martin Crutsinger Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Activity in the U.S. services sector, where most Americans work, slowed slightly in April after hitting an all-time high in March.

The Institute for Supply Management said its monthly survey of service industries showed a drop to a still high reading of 62.7%, 1 percentage point lower than the record high of 63.7 set in March.

Any reading above 50 indicates the sector is expanding. The April level marks the 11th straight month of expansion in the services sector after a two-month contraction in April and May last year when the country was struggling with widespread shutdowns caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The reading on service industries followed an ISM report Monday that activity in manufacturing also slowed in April to a level of 60.7%. The manufacturing slowdown was attributed to widespread supply chain shortages.

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